Precision oncology: Artificial intelligence, circulating cell-free DNA, and the minimally invasive detection of pancreatic cancer-A pilot study.
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is among the most lethal cancers. The lack of effective tools for early detection results in late tumor detection and, consequently, high mortality rate. Precision oncology aims to develop targeted individual treatments based on advanced computational approaches of omics data. Biomarkers, such as global alteration of cytosine (CpG) methylation, can be pivotal for these objectives. In this study, we performed DNA methylation profiling of pancreatic cancer patients using circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and artificial intelligence (AI) including Deep Learning (DL) for minimally invasive detection to elucidate the epigenetic pathogenesis of PC.
METHODS: The Illumina Infinium HD Assay was used for genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of cfDNA in treatment-naïve patients. Six AI algorithms were used to determine PC detection accuracy based on cytosine (CpG) methylation markers. Additional strategies for minimizing overfitting were employed. The molecular pathogenesis was interrogated using enrichment analysis.
RESULTS: In total, we identified 4556 significantly differentially methylated CpGs (q-value < 0.05; Bonferroni correction) in PC versus controls. Highly accurate PC detection was achieved with all 6 AI platforms (Area under the receiver operator characteristics curve [0.90-1.00]). For example, DL achieved AUC (95% CI): 1.00 (0.95-1.00), with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. A separate modeling approach based on logistic regression-based yielded an AUC (95% CI) 1.0 (1.0-1.0) with a sensitivity and specificity of 100% for PC detection. The top four biological pathways that were epigenetically altered in PC and are known to be linked with cancer are discussed.
CONCLUSION: Using a minimally invasive approach, AI, and epigenetic analysis of circulating cfDNA, high predictive accuracy for PC was achieved. From a clinical perspective, our findings suggest that that early detection leading to improved overall survival may be achievable in the future.
Bahado-Singh RO, Turkoglu O, Aydas B, Vishweswaraiah S. Precision oncology: artificial intelligence, circulating cell-free DNA, and the minimally invasive detection of pancreatic cancer-A pilot study. Cancer Med. 2023 Oct;12(19):19644-19655. doi: 10.1002/cam4.6604. PMID: 37787018.